Android Existence

The Soul of the East

In his classic, prophetic novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, American science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick depicted a future dystopia where the only way to determine the difference between humans and rogue, bio-engineered androids was empathy: the latter were incapable of experiencing and thus demonstrating it. In our own particular time, however, merely a few decades after Dick’s passing, one wonders if such a distinction could be so clearly discerned. The average Apple-addicted hipster only feels empathy, or some simulacrum of it, if it’s trending on Twitter and is followed with a politically correct, therapeutic hashtag. Kony 2012 and Michelle Obama’s #BringBackOurGirls derived meaning from their presence and promotion on social media, with special status accorded to celebrity endorsements.

An endless stream of viral images flows perpetually through the consciousness of modern man. He is increasingly rendered incapable of interpreting this continuous barrage that assaults him through most of his…

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Hyperstition

Hyperstition is a neologism that combines the words ‘hyper’ and ‘superstition’ to describe the action of successful ideas in the arena of culture. Akin to neo-Darwinist Richard Dawkins’ concept of memes, hyperstitions work at the deeper evolutionary level of social organisation in that they influence the course taken by cultural evolution. Unlike memes, however, hyperstitions describe a specific category of ideas. Coined by renegade academics, the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU), hyperstition describes both the effects and the mechanisms of apocalyptic postmodern ‘phase out’ or ‘meltdown’ culture.

via Maggie Roberts :: Hyperstition.

Two viable futures

Leaving Babylon

Recently, I put forth the idea that it would be a good thing if this civilization, with all its captured energy, could metamorphose into a civilized social grouping, whatever it might be called. I once called it a “civilized civilization.” Permacivilization might be another term. This drew some, er, cat calls from my treasured readership. Perhaps an elaboration is in order.

Is there any chance for This Ugly Civilization to metamorphose into something largely positive? Let’s look at our options. (I won’t dwell on die-off since I think it’s inevitable; its extent will be up to Gaia, not me.)

Future A: business as usual; the long decline, a la Rome, into small warring principalities and neofeudalism; much culture lost but patron-supported cultural refugia maintained for the privileged, akin to monasteries of old

Future B: reform; Lester Brown’s Plan B and Transition Towns; a sustainable civilization premised on structural…

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Social brains, social networks, big ideas and social change

So it’s important to consider the big ideas because they become internalised and act as ‘meta-norms’ that govern our thinking without our really being reflectively aware of this fact.

On the other hand, the point of introducing into the debate new knowledge in decision-making theory is twofold: it can be used to put to bed the defunct paradigm in the face of stalwarts who won’t give it up; and it can be used to help construct a successor paradigm that is better at predicting behaviour and facilitating the kind of socio-economic world we want.

And of course it is important to bring in practical application. For there is little point in connecting the big ideas with new knowledge in order to construct a new paradigm if this does not gain traction on social reality. Moreover, there should be bottom-up feedback that informs and fine-tunes the policies that the paradigm yields, lest groupthink set in again.

via Social brains, social networks, big ideas and social change : RSA blogs.

Introduction To The “Matrix Control System”

What is the Matrix? School or prison, depending on your chosen perspective. On the one hand, it is a hyperdimensional teaching system accelerating your rate of spiritual evolution by providing you with catalytic experiences in response to your thoughts, emotions, and spiritual composition.

On the other hand, many of these experiences manifest as predatory forces preying upon your weaknesses. Of course, the only way to prevent being manipulated by these forces is to discover, integrate, and transform your weaknesses into strengths, thereby indirectly accomplishing the higher purpose of the Matrix which is to help you transcend it.

via Introduction To The “Matrix Control System” | Cosmic Convergence: 2012 and Beyond.

clash of civilizations

But Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” argument is not just provocative, curmudgeonly, and hawkish. It is, I think, demonstrably more useful in making sense of the world than any competing theory, which is the highest praise any academic work can receive. Supplement Huntington’s work with a healthy dose of Kissinger’s writings on “the character of nations” and you’ve got a cogent and predictive intellectual framework for understanding the Big Picture of international politics. It’s a lens for seeing the world differently – a lens constructed from history and, yes, game theory – and that’s what makes this a foundational topic for Epsilon Theory.

via Epsilon Theory – Salient Partners | Viewing Capital Markets through the Lenses of Game Theory and History.